This section is written in partnership with UR Vistahermosa experts from Spain.

At what age should I freeze my eggs if I want to delay motherhood?

In recent years, the age at which women decide to be mothers has increased markedly. Today, the average age in which a woman has her first child is 32 in Spain. Delayed motherhood is influenced by a number of factors, like social, family, or economic, however, this may lower your chances of getting pregnant with your own eggs. The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms provides for the right of any woman or man to start a family, but also in today’s society, then when is something widely accepted as an act of individual freedom. Article 3 of the Organic Law 2/2010, Sexual and Reproductive Health states that “in the exercise of their rights to freedom, privacy and personal autonomy, everyone has the right to freely adopt decisions affecting their sexual and reproductive life”.

Health professionals should inform society of the harmful effect of age on female fertility. Patients should be properly informed of the risks and benefits of egg vitrification. This is why the preservation of fertility should be offered as a preventive measure, although potential users should also be informed of this technique and know that the process does not come with a guarantee of success, and that the degree of success is closely age-related. For the success of a good fertility preservation program, information will be a key factor.

At what age should you preserve your eggs?

While there is no specific age to vitrify oocytes, we should take into account that there is no record of live births produced from oocytes vitrified over the age of 45 and very few over the age of 42, therefore it would not be advisable to vitrify oocytes over thisage, 36 being the age limit at which the best results may be obtained.

What number of oocytes should be vitrified?

There is no ideal number, but this will also be determined by the woman’s age. According to some studies in women under the age of 35 with 10 to 15 oocytes, nearly 85% succeeded in achieving pregnancy. From the age of 36, with a similar number, we’d be looking at a 35% success rate.

How long can they stay frozen?

The cryopreservation of oocytes is carried out through a freezing technique called vitrification, and this consists of an ultrafast freezing that prevents the formation of ice crystals. This way, oocytes can remain cryopreserved indefinitely, and once devitrification occurs, survival rates are usually quite high, above 80%, although again here, the quality of the oocyte is also related to age, and it will limit the success rate.

Article source:
This article has been published in Creando Familias magazine by UR Vistahermosa clinic from Spain.

Picture of Dr. Juan Íñiguez
Dr. Juan Íñiguez
Dr. Juan Íñiguez - UR IMED Valencia

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